Green Pea Cutlets with a Creamy Sauce

I’ve actually been making these all winter. Last summer, at the exact moment that the peas were ripe and we should have been home shelling and freezing them, one of Mr. Ferdzy’s cousins in Toronto was having her Bat Mitzvah, and we went down and spent an entire weekend celebrating. When we got home the state of the peas was fairly dire, and we needed to perform triage. Literally; there was about one third that was still high quality, one third that was starchy but maybe edible, and one third that we didn’t even pick, and left to go to seed. Well, at least we have lots of peas for seed now.

I labelled the starchy peas “soup” when we froze them, because that was what I expected to do with them. But then I remembered this recipe for Vegetable Patties and thought they would do well in it. They did indeed, and so that’s how we ate them, about once a week all winter. We’ve gotten quite addicted to them although I think deliberately leaving our peas to go starchy is probably not a good plan. However, it’s awfully easy to end up with peas that are just a hair too ripe to be ideal, and this is a great thing to do with them.

I keep being tempted to put the patties in a bun or sandwich, but of course I’m making them in the first place in part because when I want a quick meal, sandwiches and pasta are no longer reasonable choices. But I’m sure they’d be so good that way! I don’t see them with ketchup or mustard or pickles, but relish, chutney, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, etc all sound like they would work well with them. Anything you think would go well with peas. Lettuce, certainly, and maybe a slice of tomato.

We just plonk them on a plate, and eat them with a dab of the sauce, and find them very enjoyable. 

2 to 4 servings – 8 patties
30 minutes prep time

Make the Patties:
1 cup chick pea flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mint OR 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh mint
1 green onion
2/3 cup water
2 cups blanched fresh shelled peas or thawed frozen peas
2 to 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil

Measure the chick pea flour into a small bowl and add the seasonings. Wash, trim, and finely chop the green onion and add it. Mix in the water and let the mixture rest for a few minutes while you make the sauce and mash the peas.

Mash the peas rather coarsely and mix them into the batter.

Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; about the usual temperature for cooking eggs or pancakes. Spoon half the batter into the pan in the form of 4 equal pancakes. Spread them out to about half an inch thick, and cook until set and lightly browned on each side; about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Transfer them to a serving plate, add the remaining oil to the pan, and cook the remaining batter in the same way. Serve at once with the sauce.

Make the Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise OR thick yogurt
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
finely minced mint OR other herbs to taste

Measure the mayonnaise or yogurt into a small bowl. Peel and mince the garlic and add it, with the salt and a few teaspoons of finely minced herbs, if you like. Serve this with the finished patties.

Last year at this time I made Ham & Snap Pea Pasta Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing.

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